How many times have you gone home after a full day at the gallery and felt you did not use your time wisely or accomplish what you wanted? That’s the worst feeling! Let me share some of my favorite productivity strategies for running your art gallery business that I hope might help you get more done.
Make time management an art form.
Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “Time stays long enough for anyone who will use it.” Unfortunately, many of us don’t always use it very well and feel like time does not stay very long.
One of my favorite time management heroes is David Allen. He is the author of Getting Thing Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity and the creator of the Getting Things Done methodology. A lesson I learned from him was regularly doing a big brain dump of all the things I had to do. Write it all down on a master list, both work and personal tasks together.
I have had so many ideas, obligations, wants, and need to do’s floating around in my head that I couldn’t sleep at night. I would have multiple ‘to do’ lists going, and it was impossible to prioritize and keep my thoughts organized.
Capturing everything in one place is easier if you get into the habit of using a single tool, such as a day planner or a list app.
Last year, I started using a physical business planner to set goals, prioritize, and schedule the important stuff. I used the Dailygreatness Business Planner, and I love it. The layout works well for setting overall business goals, marketing goals, finance, etc. Then it helps you break it all down so you can get it all done throughout the year. If you like a pen and paper planner, check it out.
If you prefer a digital planning tool, check out an app called the Productivity Wizard.
First Thing First
Another beneficial productivity trick is to end each day by writing down 3-4 tasks you will do tomorrow. Some people write theirs down on a sticky note and leave it stuck to their desk or on their computer screen, or in a day planner.
Making this a habit is a great way to practice this time management skill running your art gallery business.
I write down three tasks from my master list that are important and tie into my quarterly goals. I also write down two jobs that are probably not impactful but just have to get done eventually. We are all guilty of procrastinating on the big stuff with easy tasks or busywork.
Planning at the end of each day for the next helps you filter out time wasters, so you spend your day working on things that truly matter. Doing this helps you start the day with clarity and focus.
Another bonus of this strategy is you don’t have an enormous to-do list staring at you first thing in the morning. Feeling overwhelmed at the start of your day is not good. This way, you feel so accomplished at the end of the day when you can actually scratch everything off your list.
It’s psychological, but I’ll take it.
Some people struggle to let go of control of specific responsibilities. Delegating is an essential time-management skill. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, likes, and dislikes, which can often guide us on what tasks to delegate.
Do not spend time on projects that you either do not have the skills or expertise for, such as technical work, tasks you do not enjoy, or tasks that are not the best use of your time at the moment.
Delegating to staff may also be a career development exercise for them. If your team is already stretched thin, consider working with a virtual assistant for some tasks.
Remember Your Why
According to Simon Sinek, the author of Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, many business owners know the what and how of tasks. But only a few are intimately connected with the why they are doing something.
You have to ask yourself why a task is vital for running your art gallery business.
Have you ever been in the middle of a project and suddenly doubted that it is worthwhile? That is a big waste of time. To ensure you are using your time wisely, before starting a big project, ask yourself why you want to do it and its potential impact on your gallery’s business goals.
If the impact is unclear or is minimal at best, it’s probably not worth your time.
Good examples of this might be committing to:
- new social media platform
- writing a blog on a particular topic
- redesigning your gallery’s website
These endeavors could significantly influence your business, but save yourself some time and be sure about why.
To the Point
Mastering time management requires continuous practice. I hope these strategies will help you tackle your gallery’s business goals and get more done throughout your day.
Remember also that to be productive, you need to have mental and physical energy. Take care of yourself. Manage time better may be improved by:
- simply eating better
- exercising more
- unplugging for an hour or two
- spending more time with friends and family that ground you.
These are what have worked well for me over the years. Share what techniques work for you in the comments.